Saturday, July 7, 2012

Employment Update: June 2012

Employment in June increased over May. BLS revised May results slightly, from 69,000 to 68,000. June results were 80,000 jobs added. This is actually good news. Seen objectively, a gain over the previous month is better. But this series has of late become a hot-button issue. “Economists,” whoever they are, anticipated more, therefore it was doom-and-gloom in the media yesterday. This post comes a day late because we were recovering from a power-outage.

Part of the good news, for me, was that employment erosion in the government sector was just 4,000 jobs over against negative 17,000 in April and 28,000 in May (as currently revised). Souring my generally positive view was that the largest gain was produced by Temporary Help Services, 25,200 jobs added. That, of course, signals that employers are hesitating—or getting used to staffing with temporaries to whom they are not obliged to give benefits.

This is becoming a marathon, as it were. Maybe recovery, as we imagine it, may never actually arrive. Maybe we’re into a qualitative change in our way of life. Fingers keep pointing to Europe, at President Obama, at Asia’s taking a deep breath. But what if the post-war era is actually ending and proving itself to have been a kind of giant bubble? We’ll see. My graphic is becoming crowded. The Great Recession is becoming a memory. But here is the chart:


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